Gwyn Hughes Jones

Gwyn Hughes Jones

Last updated: 07 February 2011

A tenor whose voice is just made for the big Italian romantic roles.

Gwyn Hughes Jones has enjoyed a busy international career on the opera stage since his professional debut, with Welsh National Opera, in 1995. On that occasion, he sang Ismaele in Verdi's Nabucco, and has since returned to the company on a regular basis in roles such as Don Ottavio, Beppe, Rodolfo, Pinkerton, Nemorino, the Duke of Mantua, Faust and Don José.

But the singer from Anglesey didn't think that he was destined to sing leading tenor roles until he was well into his twenties. His studies - first at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then at the National Opera Studio - were initially as a baritone, and in 1992 he won the Kathleen Ferrier scholarship in that voice. It then became clear that his true voice was that of a tenor, and in 1994 he started winning tenor prizes at competitions, including reaching the final of Cardiff Singer of the World in 1997, and it seems unthinkable now that he could have ever been anything other than a tenor.

Gwyn sings regularly at English National Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in major companies in Europe such as the Opéra National de Paris, La Monnaie in Brussels and Norwegian National Opera.

Since 1999, he has made many appearances in leading roles in major American houses such as the Met in New York, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera.

Gwyn's concert repertoire ranges from Handel's Messiah to Verdi's Requiem, and he has appeared with many major orchestras throughout the world, as well as in recital.

Recordings include operatic arias and duets, and Gwyn appears on DVD as Ismaele in the Met's production of Nabucco.

He is known for the strength and sweetness of his voice, in romantic and heroic roles. In common with other Welsh-speaking opera stars such as Bryn Terfel and Gwynne Howell, he is also known for his fine diction.

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